US $ Visitor: All Cash or Credit/Debit?


Apr 25, 2011
A friend of mine is coming to visit for 2 weeks from the States and is wondering whether to just bring a wad of cash, or use his debit card to pay for things. (Dinners, etc)

I told him that if he uses cash, in many stores and restaurants in dollars, they would offer him a more lucrative exchange rate than if he used his credit/debit card which would offer him the ¨official¨ exchange rate I assume, correct?

Also, he ideally does not want to change his dollars into pesos because he doesnt want to be stuck with them.

Do I assume correctly in thinking that US dollars are accepted just about anywhere in BA Capital these days?
I would not go around with dollars anywhere here or pay with plastic either. When my friends visit, I tell them to bring some cash for emergency (a few hundred bucks) and use their debit card to withdraw pesos from the ATM as they need them, and pay cash. Also bring a credit card just in case there are problems with the debit card or ATMs here. Good luck!
Nah, definitely not everywhere. Some restaurants accept them, but some do not (like Parrilla Pena, Miranda, and Juana M, off the top of my head.) And the rate of exchange varies so much -- everything from 4.19 (Disco) to 4.5 (Ligier) to 4.7 (some boutique in Palermo.) Why doesn't your friend just exchange small amounts of USD at a cueva (where he'll get a good rate)? Then he has the pesos when he needs them, but can opt for USD if you're going somewhere with a better rate of exchange.
I would suggest he keeps his cash in a safe at his hotel and takes a couple hundred out and exchanges that at an exchange house on an as needed basis. Taxis don't take dollars so he will need some pesos on hand to move around the city regardless. If he does go shopping to a mall or maybe plaza serrano etc he could take dollars. But always be careful. If someone spots you with a wad of dollars you could become a target.